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China's Sloping Land Conversion Program Four Years on: Current Situation and Pending Issues

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With a budget of RMB 337 billion (over US$ 40 billion), the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) is one of China's most ambitious environmental initiatives, and is one of the world's largest land-conservation programs. Pending successful completion, it will have significant implications for China's forests and remaining natural ecosystems, representing an almost 10 % increase in current national forest area. However, we provide evidence that it is in danger of failing to reach its goals due to flaws in design and implementation. Four years into the program, this paper uses a 2003 data set of 358 households to examine SLCP implementation and to suggest improvements. Of central concern has been overly quick expansion over the past few years, which has served to exacerbate problems already revealed, but not adequately addressed, during the pilot phase of the program.
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Keywords: program sustainability; rural household income; sloping land conversion; targeting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Anwai, Beijing, 100101 China. 2: CCAP. 3: Shaw Research Fellow, Institute for Chinese Studies, the University of Oxford, and Research Fellow, CCAP. 4: Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP).

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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